This week, I’m starting a series on the candidates for Macon County’s major offices. The first race I’m looking at is for Macon County Clerk, where either Amy Rueff or Josh Tanner will be elected to follow long-time clerk, and my long-time good friend, Steve Bean, who is retiring. I am covering this race, and others directly impacting our city and county, by sending questionnaires to all of the candidates that contain the same four basic questions: (1) What prompted you to run for this office? (2) What qualifies you for this office? (3) What changes, if any, would you make in the office if you are elected? and (4) Is there anything that you would like to express to voters that isn’t covered by the previous three questions? There will also be some background information on each candidate.
The questions are simple, straightforward and are being answered without interpretation or assessment by me, or anyone else at the Tribune, on how the candidates answered. Questionnaires were emailed to candidates for Macon County Clerk, Macon County Treasurer, Macon County Sheriff, State Senate race in 48th District, State Rep. races in the 96th District and the 101st District. (Sen. Chapin Rose of the 51st District does not have an opponent.)
All of those offices directly impact on Decatur and Macon County. I’ve known several of the candidates for many years and some I just met during this campaign. About all of the questionnaires have been returned and I hope our readers will enjoy reading answers from the candidates responding to the questions in their own words in this and future editions.
• I’VE met with most of the candidates over the months and certainly, in the case of the Macon County Clerk’s race I know both candidates, and unlike some of the political players on the national scene, I would, as they say, actually buy a used car from Amy Rueff or Josh Tanner, if that was what they did for a living — and have confidence in doing so. Both are running for the county clerk’s office for the right reasons — and have been working hard in what seems like a campaign that has gone on forever.
• I MENTIONED in this column last week that I had contacted Interim City Manager Billy Tyus about the terrible “dirty looking” condition of the Central Park Fountain. The bowls have a black substance on them. Obviously, since I spent five years as a private citizen raising money to replace the old fountain, I’m a little sensitive to its appearance. Billy Tyus answered me right after last week’s edition went to press, stating: “I talked with staff and the issue wasn’t related to staff or priorities– we have been taking bids for cleaning and painting the fountain and were awaiting bids.
“Having said that, the fountain should not ever appear in that condition. The public will start to see some activity on Tuesday at the latest (weather permitting and barring other problems) We plan to start draining the fountain in preparation for the work.
“The black color is related to chemicals in the water and a need for cleaning.” He later sent me an email indicating that, shortly after he sent that message “the crews are out now cleaning the fountain”. I believe they have been able to get some of the black substance off, but, the last time I looked, it is probably going to take the professional firm the city is going to hire to make it look new again. Thanks for your help, Mr. Manager.
• STARTING Saturday, Oct. 13, the Macon County Clerk’s Election Office in the County Office Building, 141 S. Main St, Room 119, will be open Saturdays until Election Day for early voting on the following dates and hours: October 13th 9am to Noon October 20th 9am to Noon October 29th 9am to 4pm November 3rd 9am to 4pm For election-related questions call 424-1333.
• CONGRATS to Brian Byers, Kevin Breheny, John Skeffington and lots of other people involved in the 2018 WSOY Community Food Drive. This year’s amount of food raised was an all-time high of 1.53+ million pounds, exceeding the 1.52 million goal. It is mind-boggling to consider that much food contributed in the space of one day! I’ve been there around the 7:00 a.m. hour for all 17 years and it is one of my favorite events to attend — simply because it does so much for so many and the ripple impact in the community is beyond measure. Thanks to all who continue to make this event a definition of the goodness of our community and those surrounding us. A community never stands taller than when it helps others!
• ANOTHER candidate for city council has expressed a desire to run for one of the three seats that will be up for election in next year’s municipal election. Shavon Francis is an accountant at ADM and an unsuccessful candidate in the Democratic primary election for Macon County Treasurer. She lost to April Kostenski in March. With the General Election coming up on Nov. 6th, about all of the attention is now focused on it instead of the Municipal Election next Spring. We’ll also know all of the candidates running for mayor and three city council seats when petitions are actually filed in late November and names go on the ballot.